Music Director & Conductor

Dr. Scott Weiss

Scott Weiss is the Music Director and Conductor of the Aiken Symphony and the Director of Orchestras at the University of South Carolina School of Music. In demand internationally as a guest conductor, Scott has conducted recent performances with the orchestras of Shenzhen, Tianjin, Hunan, Inner Mongolia, Shandong, and Nanchang and at major international venues including the Taipei National Theatre and Concert Hall, the National Centre for the Performing Arts Concert Hall in Beijing, and the Hangzhou Grand Theatre Concert Hall. Soloists he has recently shared the stage with include Elena Urioste, Angelo Xiang Yu, Zuill Bailey, Awadagin Pratt, John O’Conor, Marina Lomazov and Paul Jacobs.

Scott has several critically-acclaimed recordings on the Naxos Records and Summit Records labels. His latest offering is the world premiere recording of Nico Muhly’s Reliable Sources, released on the Cantaloupe Music label in October 2021. The piece is one of dozens of new works that Scott has commissioned from many of today’s leading composers, including Samuel Adler, Jennifer Higdon, Zhou Long, Cindy McTee and Joseph Schwanter.

At the University of South Carolina, Dr. Weiss is the Sarah Bolick Smith Distinguished Professor of Music. In addition to conducting the USC Symphony Orchestra, Professor Weiss leads the master’s and doctoral programs in orchestral conducting at USC, and his studio is a destination for talented young conductors from around the world. He is frequently invited to conduct performances and teach masterclasses at leading conservatoires and music schools, including the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing), the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the University of Western Australia. Each summer, he teaches at the Los Angeles Conducting Workshop.

Born in Monterey, California in 1967, Scott holds degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the University of Illinois, where he studied conducting with Donald Schleicher. Before joining the faculty at the University of South Carolina in 2010, he held conducting posts at the University of Kansas and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

When he’s not on the podium, these days Scott is likely on the golf course preparing for a trip to Scotland in June, 2024 to play several bucket list courses with his son John, a PhD student in chemistry at Northwestern University. Scott and his wife Teah are intrepid travelers and enjoy hiking, surfing, and fine wines.